August 23, 2017

Conservative MPs angered by reports of £36bn Brexit ‘divorce bill’


Conservative eurosceptics are insistent that the UK should not pay any money to the European Union as part of a so-called divorce bill.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Britain would pay €40bn (£36bn) to leave the EU, although a senior Government source has denied the claim.

High-profile Brexiteers have criticised the claim, with Conservative MP Peter Bone stating that “one of the prime reasons the UK voted to leave the EU was to stop sending them billions of pounds per year”.

He said it would be “totally bizarre to give the EU any money, let alone £36bn, given also that over the years that we have been in the EU or its predecessor we have given them, net, over £200bn”.

Mr Bone added that “if there was going to be any transfer of money then it should be from the EU to the UK”.

Fellow Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg tweeted that there was “no logic to this figure, legally we owe nothing”.

Meanwhile, Wokingham MP John Redwood described the report as “completely ridiculous” when speaking to LBC radio.

He said that “the business that we have to pay to get them to talk about trade is just completely ridiculous”.

Mr Redwood said: “They need to talk about trade more than we need to talk about trade.

“We all know they will talk about trade before March 2019 because it’s in their interest to do so. We have absolutely no need to pay them a penny, to get them to talk about something they need to talk about.”

The comments come as Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable complained that “old” Brexit voters had “shafted the young” on the UK’s departure from the EU.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said they had imposed “a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past on a younger generation much more comfortable with modern Europe”.



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